Day 22: 12 Things successful people do differently

Day 14 of my 35 Day Challenge

Have you ever wondered why the successful people we look up to are so successful? What they do differently? I’ve asked myself those questions many times and over the years i’ve studied the lives of numerous successful people. I asked my self how do they do it? I’ve read their books, watched their interviews and researched them online, etc. I realized that most of them were not born into success, they just did and continued to to the right things.

You want to know what those things are ? Here are 12 things they do, that you can do as well :


1.  They create and pursue S.M.A.R.T. goals.

S.M.A.R.T. goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.  Let’s have a look at each of them:

  • Specific – A general goal would be, “Write a book.” But a related specific goal would be, “Write one page everyday for the next 30 Days and join a writing course by monday next week”  A specific goal has a far greater chance of being accomplished because it has defined parameters and constraints.
  • Measurable – There must be a logical system for measuring the progress of a goal.  To determine if your goal is measurable, ask yourself questions like:  How much time? How many total?  How will I know when the goal is accomplished? etc.  When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued efforts required to reach your goal.
  • Attainable – To be attainable, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work.  In other words, the goal must be realistic.  The big question here is:  How can the goal be accomplished?
  • Relevant – Relevance stresses the importance of choosing goals that matter.  For example, an internet entrepreneur’s goal to “Make 75 tuna sandwiches by 2:00PM.” may be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, and Timely, but lacks Relevance to an entrepreneurs overarching objective of building a profitable online business.
  • Timely – A goal must be grounded within a time frame, giving the goal a target date.  A commitment to a deadline helps you focus your efforts on the completion of the goal on or before the due date.  This part of the S.M.A.R.T. goal criteria is intended to prevent goals from being overtaken by daily distractions.

When you identify S.M.A.R.T. goals that are truly important to you, you become motivated to figure out ways to attain them.  You develop the necessary attitude, abilities, and skills.  You can achieve almost any goal you set if you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps.  Goals that once seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them.

2.  They take decisive and immediate action.

One Problem, why a lot of people never reach their goals in live, is :

They never take action!

Just because you’re reading a lot and sucking up knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing. Growth is what happens, when what you know changes your life. Most people don’t fully “live”, they merely “exist”, because they never take action to pursue their dreams.

One thing i’ve realized is, you don’t have to be a genius to be successful, as long as you take action and never give up. Because all the knowledge and intelligence are useless without action.

Go after your dreams and goals. Make that decision. And take action!

3.  They focus on being productive, not being busy.

In his book, The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferris says, “Slow down and remember this:  Most things make no difference.  Being busy is often a form of mental laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.”  This is Ferris’ way of saying “work smarter, not harder,” which happens to be one of the most prevalent modern day personal development clichés.  But like most clichés, there’s a great deal of truth to it, and few people actually adhere to it.

Just look around you. Most people are way more busy than they are productive.

Make sure you’re not one of them. Slow down. Breathe and review your commitments and goals. Prioritize and put first things first. Do one thing at the time and start now. Then you take a short break in two hours and repeat.


And always remember, results are more important than the time it takes to achieve them.

4.  They make logical, informed decisions.

This one is pretty simple: Don’t let your emotions dictate what you’re doing. Stop for a minute and THINK. Think things through before you make any life-changing decisions.

5.  They avoid the trap of trying to make things perfect.

Many of us are little perfectionists. At least i am once in a while. We set high bars for ourselves and do our best. We bring all our time and attention to work and to maintain our high standards. Our passion drives us to run the extra mile and to never give up. That dedication certainly helps us to achieve results… but most of the time, that’s not how it goes. We get carried away, by little things and details, instead of looking at the bigger picture. We get discouraged when we fail to meet our sometimes impossible high standards. Which makes it even harder for us to finish what we started or ever take on a new challenge.

I’ve seen myself getting carried away by perfectionism and using that as an excuse for myself to avoid the things i had or wanted to do. When i started this blog i didn’t wrote much for the first two month. I wanted to write perfect, professional articles, like the ones i’ve read. But that ultimately kept me from writing at all. So i forced myself to lower my expectations a bit. Just so i would get started.

Remember, the real world doesn’t reward perfectionists.  It rewards people who get things done.  And the only way to get things done is to be imperfect 99% of the time.  Only by failing over and over again and never giving up, we can ever reach something close to perfection. So make a decision.  Take action, learn from the outcome, and repeat this method over and over again in all walks of life.

6.  They work outside of their comfort zone.

Don’t wait until you feel ready. You’re never gonna feel like you’re ready. That’s something that is holding so many people back. I know this feeling. You feel uncomfortable and believe that you need more knowledge, skill, experience, etc. until you can take that chance, take that opportunity. But this is ultimately holding you back! It keeps you from growing and it keeps you from becoming successful.

The truth is nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow emotionally and intellectually.  They force us to stretch ourselves and our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.  And when we don’t feel comfortable, we don’t feel ready.

Those moments will come and when they do you make sure you take that chance. You take that leap of faith. And you do it. Because everything you don’t know yet, you can learn. Everything you can’t do yet, you will practice. So take that chance. When i see an opportunity, i always try to take it. Simply because i think i can learn everything i need while doing it. Just don’t be afraid of failing.

7.  They keep things simple.

Several business and marketing studies have shown that the more product choices a consumer is faced with, the less products they typically buy.  After all, narrowing down the best product from a pool of three choices is certainly a lot easier than narrowing down the best product from a pool of three hundred choices.  If the purchasing decision is tough to make, most people will just give up.  Likewise, if you complicate your life by inundating yourself with too many choices, your subconscious mind will give up.

The solution is to simplify.  If you’re selling a product line, keep it simple.  And if you’re trying to make a decision about something in your life, don’t waste all your time evaluating every last detail of every possible option.  Choose something that you think will work and give it a shot.  If it doesn’t work out, learn what you can from the experience, choose something else and keep pressing forward.

8.  They focus on making small, continuous improvements.

I’ve read a quote a while a go, unfortunately i don’t know from whom it is, but it said:

What you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while.

And that is so true. If you want to eat an elephant, do it one bite at a time. This philosophy is the key to achieving your biggest goals. If you make tiny positive changes everyday- like including one more healthy food into your meal each day, exercising for 3 minutes a day, read for 10 minutes each day or write for 10 minutes each day- you will be amazed how you slowly reach the level of success you always wanted.

If you make small changes, you don’t even need a lot of motivation to get started. Because you will always have time for those tiny tasks. And before you know it, you developed a new healthy habit that will lead you to success.

9.  They measure and track their progress.

They take a step back and look at their progress regularly. They track their goals and examine what needs to be done to excel. You can’t control what you don’t properly measure.  

Figure out what your number one goal is and then track the things that are important to achieving that goal. If you don’t know your number one goal, sit down right now and identify it! Identify the most important things that you need to keep track of and start tracking them right now. Do it regularly and every week you write the numbers down an create a graph of your progress. That makes your progress more visual and you can start to adjust what is working and what isn’t.

10.  They maintain a positive outlook as they learn from their mistakes.

Stay positive. Focus on your on growth and don’t let yourself be distracted by what other’s can and can’t do. If you fail, don’t give up. Instead see it as a lesson to grow and to improve yourself or your business. Sometimes failure needs to happen, for us to end up on the right path. A lot of mistakes have led to great inventions, that would have never been discovered otherwise. Successful people focus on the positives. What you focus on grows. 

They believe deep down, that their positivity will take them to greatness. Life will test your will again and again, that’s why you need to have a positive mindset, so life won’t put you down. A negative mind will never give you a positive life.

Remember, every mistake you make is progress.  Mistakes teach you important lessons.  Every time you make one, you’re one step closer to your goal.  The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake.

Don’t hesitate and don’t doubt yourself!  Don’t let your own negativity sabotage you.  Learn what you can and press forward.

11.  They spend time with the right people.

You are the sum of the people you spend the most time with. So choose carefully. If you hang out with negative, unsuccessful people who tear you down you will inevitable become like them. If you have people around you though, who support each other, lift each other up and believe in their dreams and are successful you will become more like them. 

Broaden your network. Connect with likeminded people, who are focused and supportive and with influential individuals who will help you achieve your goals. Also if you hang out with the right people, you will achieve a lot more than when you try it all on your own.

Get yourself a Mentor. Most successful people had a Mentor or still have one. A Mentor can be someone who inspires you and helps you to grow, a trainer or a coach. It’s never bad to have one though. And If you can’t find a Mentor, read books and have the wisest mens advice at your hands.  Tribes by Seth Godin is a great read on this topic.

12.  They maintain balance in their life.

If you neglect one area in your life to much it will end up making things harder for you. So try to keep the balance. You won’t be happy, if all you have is money. But you also won’t be happy, if you might have an adventurous life but you worry about money all the time. Or you have everything, but you can’t enjoy it, because you’re sick.

Thanks for reading !

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